U.S. Constitution Amendment II: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

The Founding Fathers of this country lived under the tyranny of the monarchy of King George III of England.

The social and political changes in the 13 colonies leading to the American War of Independence, (1775-1782) put an end to that autocratic rule.

When the men who were to lead the United States of America crafted this nation's Contitution in the summer of 1787, they were well aware a large and powerful government could abuse its citizens.

The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, part of the Bill of Rights, protects the right of Americans to keep and bear arms.

Adopted Dec. 15, 1791, this amendment states this right "shall not be infringed."

Merriam-Webster's dictionary defines the word "infringed" as "to encroach upon in away that violates the law or the rights of another."

The salient point in today's atmosphere of increasingly more calls for stricter gun laws, however, is the definition Merriam-Webster gives to the word "encroach."

This word is defined as: "to enter by gradual steps or by stealth into the possessions or rights of another."

First, so-called assault weapons, such as the AR15 semi-automatic rifle, and magazines holding more than 10 rounds will be banned by President Barack Obama, even if he has to use an executive order– a presidential edict– to do it.

Then, semi-automatic pistols, such as the Glock, will be banned.

What will be next in this "gradual" encroachment on the rights of American citizens? The 22-caliber long gun?

The need for guns to protect oneself and loved ones, especially in rural areas where state police are often miles away is vital when a person, armed with his own weapon and evil intentions breaks into a home.

Fortunately, in Pennsylvania there are elected representatives who are aware of the dangers of "encroachment" on the rights of Americans.

According to published reports, State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-12th, recently introduced legislation, House Bill 357, to nullify federal encroachments of firearms ownership in the commonwealth.

His bill, which has more than 50 sponsors in the House, makes Pennsylvania the 13th state in the last three weeks to introduce such legislation.

Metcalfe modeled his Right to Bear Arms Protection Act after legislation recently introduced in Wyoming and Texas.

House Bill 357 includes: prohibitions against enforcement of any new federal registration, restriction or prohibition requirement for privately owned firearms, magazines and ammunition.

The bill also includes the requirement the state, including the Office of Attorney General, intercede on behalf of commonwealth citizens against any federal attempt to register, restrict or ban the purchase or ownership of firearms and firearms accessories, which are currently legal products.

And finally, House Bill 357 provides for felony charges against anyone, including federal agents, who would try to enforce any type of gun control restriction within the state.

"Passage of my legislation will send the message that there will never be additional gun control, anywhere in Pennsylvania," Metcalfe said, according to published reports. "Whether by White House executive orders, congressional fiat, or judicial activism, we will never allow the left to benefit from the wicked acts of murderers in order to advance their senseless gun-grabbing agenda which would only succeed in replacing one of our most sacred personal liberties with the cha ins of government tyranny."Pennsylvania, home to the Contitutional Convention of 1787 and the Liberty Bell, needs to be the first state to say, "No more" to the autocratic powers in Washington, D.C.

By Deb Palmieri

dpalmieri@tnonline.com